"Manga" (comics) and "anime" (animation) are being brought to a wider audience by fans who are distributing their own translations and performances on the Internet, according to new research by a British academic.

Lee Hye-Kyung of the University of London says the process shows the new ways in which Japanese popular culture is being disseminated in the age of globalization.

But she believes there is a potential for conflict in the future if Japanese publishers decide to take legal action against unauthorized translations distributed by fans based in the United States and Europe.